For many of us in the emergency preparedness world, this pandemic is ‘practice’ for the BIG ONE. That is not to downplay in any way the seriousness of our current world issues. This is to say that, due to our training, both as professionals and volunteers, we were a bit calmer at the onset of the pandemic as we reviewed and revised our own preparedness efforts to meet the current challenge. This work and planning are ongoing. In the big picture, it is best to prepare, and then improvise, as needed.
Working at the micro-neighborhood level, it’s my job to get my neighbors as prepared as possible, having offered training and materials and workshops and tips over the years. This is hard work, but worth the effort.
Let me walk you through a very good scenario that I hope can take place after a major disaster in my neighborhood. After the event, when I have made sure my home and family are okay, and it is safe to do, I plan to walk through my neighborhood and check in on my neighbors. I know most of them by name and by sight and know they have enough food and water to last for two weeks. They all have a shelter in place plan that is activated and are keeping themselves as safe as possible, knowing that it is possible that we will be without any emergency services help for the immediate future.
As we are able, neighbors help neighbors nearby.
Those with radio communication skills like ham operators will be able to share news and critical information when cell phones and the internet are down. There are many licensed ham operators in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
We are calm and do the best we can because we all prepared ahead of time.
We prepare, and then we improvise.
Where are you on the preparedness continuum? Start where you are and keep going!